Most baseball fans have heard by now that Kirby Puckett met an untimely death yesterday at the age of 44. Puckett was one one of my favorite non-Tigers of the 80s and 90s. The 5-8 210 pound Puckett never looked like a player but was one of the best of his time. Kirby could do it all - hit for average (.318), hiit for power (.477 slugging percentage and 207 home runs), field (6 gold gloves as a center fielder) and run (134 stolen bases). Unfortunately, his career was cut short by Glaucoma at the age of 31 while he was still in his prime (.314/.383/.515) in his final season).
He was one of of the most unique and entertaining players ever. It was quite a sight to see his short stocky body race all over the field. He played with unusually high energy and enthusiasm and seemed to love the game. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001 and is a player I'll never forget.